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Goyal talks jobs to tea party folks

March 23, 2010:

Lou Whitmire
Mansfield News Journal

MANSFIELD -- It seemed an odd mix when Democratic state Rep. Jay Goyal accepted an invitation to address the Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association on Monday night.

While many of the 100 or so people in attendance wanted to discuss passage of the health care bill, Goyal prefaced his speech by saying he would focus on state issues, particularly jobs.

"In my mind that is the No. 1 issue that we are facing as the area and as a state," Goyal said.

Goyal, D-Mansfield, spoke and fielded questions for nearly two hours. In the end, he received warm applause.

He discussed what the state has done to create jobs and boost the economy. Two years ago, Ohio passed the largest property tax cut in state history. The tangible personal property tax, which businesses paid on inventory and equipment, was eliminated, he said.

"With all of these tax cuts having been done, Ohio has greatly improved the overall taxes for small businesses," Goyal said.

A recent study by the Small Business and Enterprise Council ranked Ohio 11th in the nation for its small business tax climate, he said.

He was asked if Ohio lawmakers are studying other states that are attracting jobs, including Texas and Florida.

"Why are they prospering and we're not?" a man in the audience asked.

Goyal said the Ohio House of Representatives has passed some regulatory reform to reduce bureaucracy and cut red tape for small businesses.

"If we can get (House Bill 230) signed into law and passed through the Senate, I think we will have done quite a bit to improve our regulatory climate in the state of Ohio," he said.

Goyal said he supports initiatives focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.

"Innovation is important because a lot of the old industries and the old products we've relied upon for so long to be creating jobs and to be the bedrock of our community are not growth industries anymore," he said. "Your automotive industries, your steel industries, the large amount of growth going forward is not necessarily going to be in those industries.

"Or if it is going to be in those industries, it's going to be through innovation, it's going to be through innovating your processes or innovating new products."

Goyal said he introduced House Bill 123 to keep more post-collegiate people in Ohio after graduation by offering them a tax credit. He said studies show 50 percent of graduates from Ohio are likely to leave the state within five years to find jobs in engineering, math, science and technology.

He also said the state Legislature is seeking ways to get companies access to credit.

"We're working to see what we can do to create a small business working capital loan fund," he said.

Goyal said Ohio has significantly reduced government spending.

"We have also eliminated 5,000 state jobs and reduced the size of state government to the size it was in the early days of the Reagan Administration in the early 1980s," Goyal said.

Goyal said the state has cut taxes including personal, income, property and corporate taxes.

"Of the cuts we have made, I have gotten thousands of phone calls," Goyal said. "We've made some tough decisions."